THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: It’s been a decade since the Indian heavy metal scene exploded after the legendary British group Iron Maiden landed in Bengaluru for their first stage appearance in the country. While a lot has happened since then—including native acts like Eccentric Pendulum and Zygnema having travelled to the biggest gathering of metal musicians at Germany’s Wacken Open Air—India will witness yet another groundbreaking musical phenomenon this year. Death metal veterans Psycroptic are flying down for a six city tour (with performances slated at Shillong, Delhi, Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune), something which no other international metal band has done before.
“Some cities don’t see big turn outs unless there’s an international act on the bill. We cannot deny that they gather bigger crowds and in turn help opening regional outfits to increase their fan base,” says Renu McGarry, the owner of Orka Networks who is inviting the quartet comprising of Cameron Grant, David Haley, Joe Haley and Jason Peppiatt for an exclusive India tour. Named after the opening track of their latest album, the Echoes To Come tour sounds predictive of the waves it’ll create within the metal sphere in India.
Being detached from the European and American scene, Psycroptic created a signature sound acclaimed for its distinct technical characteristics, as heard on earlier releases like The Scepter of the Ancients. While many projects face criticism when their sound evolves, this 18-year-old band’s latest self-titled release was received well. “In the early days, we didn’t really understand the recording process or even song writing for that matter. We are always trying to improve, and I think we got to a level with the (self-titled) album that we were finally happy with how things were sounding,” informs drummer David, about why they gave the album the same name as their collective. He mentions that even moving the songwriting process into the studio has changed their style to bring in catchy elements.
Though many bands including Inner Sanctum and Moral Putrefaction will play alongside the Australians at Bengaluru and Chennai respectively, the musicians who’ll share the maximum limelight are Fragarak and Godless, who are performing five venues with the international ensemble. The arrival of international musicians will sure inspire native acts to kick start tour buses that will snake across the Indian landscape.